When it comes to the fields of agriculture and technology, Ireland has always punched above its weight. So how is it faring when the two are combined? Unsurprisingly, rather well. From state-of-the-art crop growing firms to the latest wearable tech for livestock, we have profiled some of the most exciting entrepreneurs and their businesses in the sector
This article was originally published by the Irish Independent on September 26 2021. Writers - Sean Pollock and Fearghal O’Connor. Link - https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/20-top-agritech-innovators-sowing-seeds-of-success-40884602.html
Innovators in Agritech - (from left) Jennifer Corley CEO Equitrace, Aoife O'Mahony Head of Marketing Apis Protect, Alvan Hunt, CEO and Co Founder Hexafly, Shay Curtis Product Design Engineer Equimetrics, Eoghan Finneran CEO Farmeye, Emmet Savage CEO of Moocall, , Fabien Peyaud CEO and Co Founder Herdwatch, Ivan Wahlrab Co Founder and CTO of Strong Bo, Ciaran Feeney Co Founder Marteye, Karen Hennessy CEO Real Leaf Farm, , David Hunt Chief Strategy Officer Cainthus, Jack Cotter Director and CTO of Cotter Agritech, Oliver Kiernan CEO of Brandon Bioscience, Dan O'Brien CEO Farmony, Gary Wickham CEO and Co Founder Maggrow and Padraig Hennessy CEO Terra Nutritech. Picture by Steve Humphreys
Cotter Agritech was included on this list alongside the following exciting Irish AgTech startups:
Real Leaf Farm
Malone Farm Machinery
The Yield Lab
● Cotter Agritech
Cotter Agritech was co-founded by serial entrepreneur siblings Jack (23) and Nick (20) Cotter. They invented The Cotter Crate, a unique sheep handling and monitoring system, to revolutionise how sheep farmers care for their animals. The idea was born when the brothers and their father, Nick Senior, had difficulty handling their young lambs.
“It was hugely stressful on the animals and meant lots of backache being crouched over all day,” says CEO Nick Cotter. They first devised a crate from wood and box iron but improved it over several years before bringing it to the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships.
“More than 100 farmers said they wanted to purchase the invention, and it won every award category it was entered in,” he says. This drove the brothers to commercialise it and add functionality such as weighing, drafting and integrated software.
Currently in final prototyping, the system is in use at 19 top commercial sheep farms across Ireland and the UK, with research projects ongoing with UCD and Queens University Belfast.
The brothers expect it to launch on the market early next year.